Costa Rica vs Ecuador: An Honest Comparison To Help You Choose

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Last updated on January 10, 2024 by Wandering our World

With their pristine natural spaces, comfortable climates, delicious food, and fascinating cultures, the many countries of Latin America make for fabulous vacation destinations. And, if you’re eager to enjoy some of the best experiences that this part of the world has to offer, Costa Rica and Ecuador are two terrific countries to consider.

The only problem is that both of these countries are so amazing, it’s really hard to decide which one to visit. On the one hand, you’ve got Costa Rica, renowned all over the world as a global leader in conservation and ecotourism. It’s filled with dense rainforests, exotic wildlife, and jaw-dropping national parks.

On the other hand, there’s Ecuador, which is also a world-class adventure destination and ecotourism leader, boasting everything from Amazonian rainforests and volcanic lakes to the iconic Galapagos Islands. There’s also a fantastic urban side to Ecuador, with historic cities, filled with beautiful colonial architecture.

How can you possibly pick just one of these countries? And which one is best for you? Well, that’s what this guide is here to help with. Below, we’ll dig into all the key differences that separate Costa Rica and Ecuador, exploring their attractions, cities, beaches, food, and more to help you decide on the ideal destination for your next adventure.

Contents:

  • A Quick Overview Of Costa Rica vs Ecuador
  • Which Is Best For Activities?
  • Which Is Best For Beaches?
  • Which Is Best For Towns And Cities?
  • Which Is Best For Nature And Outdoors?
  • Which Is Best For Nightlife?
  • Which Is Best For Shopping?
  • Which Is Best For Food?
  • Which Is Best For Families?
  • Which Is Best For Couples?
  • Which Is Best For Backpackers?
  • Which Is Cheapest?
  • Where To Stay According To Your Budget
  • Costa Rica vs Ecuador: Which Is Better?

Wandering Our World’s Ten-Second Comparison:

An infographic presenting Costa Rica vs Ecuador showing some of the key differences that will be discovered later in the article.

A Quick Overview Of Costa Rica vs Ecuador

Costa Rica: A Quick Overview

A breathtaking aerial panorama captures the intricate Baroque details of the Church of the Merced in San Jose Center, Costa Rica, surrounded by the city's vibrant urban landscape.
A breathtaking aerial panorama captures the intricate Baroque details of the Church of the Merced in San Jose Center, Costa Rica, surrounded by the city’s vibrant urban landscape.

Costa Rica is a Central American nation, located between its two neighbors – Nicaragua and Panama. It enjoys a long stretch of coastline looking out across the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, with a second shoreline gazing out across the Pacific Ocean. In terms of population, over 5 million people call this place home, with many in the capital city of San José.

Like much of Latin America, Costa Rica was home to an array of indigenous peoples for thousands of years, but everything change when European – mostly Spanish – settlers landed in the 16th century. The Spanish took control over the land, and it later became part of the First Mexican Empire and Republic of Central America until gaining independence in the 1840s.

These days, as a proudly independent nation, Costa Rica is known primarily as a leading light for conservation and green living. It sets the standard when it comes to preserving nature and respecting Mother Earth, with vast swathes of untouched forests and green spaces. It’s also known as one of the happiest and healthiest places to live.

The imposing statue of national hero Juan Santamaria stands tall in Alajuela, Costa Rica, a tribute to the brave figure who played a pivotal role in the country's history.
The imposing statue of national hero Juan Santamaria stands tall in Alajuela, Costa Rica, a tribute to the brave figure who played a pivotal role in the country’s history.

Unsurprisingly, with such enormous amounts of beautiful, pristine natural scenery, Costa Rica is a favored destination for adventure travelers and lovers of the great outdoors. Whether you want to hike through rainforests, climb volcanos, kayak through canyons, or meet exotic animals in the wild, this is one of the very best places to visit.

Ecuador: A Quick Overview

The striking Cathedral La Inmaculada Concepcion graces Cuenca's scenic cityscape, standing majestically amidst the picturesque charm of Azuay Province, Ecuador, illuminated by the interplay of sun and clouds on a tranquil afternoon.
The striking Cathedral La Inmaculada Concepcion graces Cuenca’s scenic cityscape, standing majestically amidst the picturesque charm of Azuay Province, Ecuador, illuminated by the interplay of sun and clouds on a tranquil afternoon.

Ecuador is a county in South America. Specifically, it’s located in the northwest part of the continent, with borders connecting it to Peru and Colombia, along with a long stretch of coastline along the Pacific Ocean. Over 17.4 million people live in this country, making it much busier than Costa Rica. It’s also over five times larger, extending across 109,484 square miles.

Similarly to Costa Rica, Ecuador was home to various indigenous peoples throughout history, but the most famous of all were the Incas, who settled in this area around 15,000 years ago and made it part of their Inca Empire. Centuries later, the Spanish arrived, colonizing the land and ruling over it for around three centuries. Ecuador finally became independent in the 1800s.

Cuenca, Ecuador: Admire the famed Inmaculate Conception Cathedral, an iconic symbol of architectural splendor and cultural significance, gracing the cityscape with timeless charm.
Cuenca, Ecuador: Admire the famed Inmaculate Conception Cathedral, an iconic symbol of architectural splendor and cultural significance, gracing the cityscape with timeless charm.

Nowadays, Ecuador is a rapidly-developing country that, like Costa Rica, is perhaps best-known for its natural diversity. It’s one of the 17 megadiverse countries on the planet, home to many native species of flora and fauna, along with enormous natural expanses and a great mixture of landscapes.

Ecuador is also diverse in its population and culture, with many different native languages and lots of different groups of people, all living and working side by side. This melting pot of influences gives Ecuador’s cities, cuisine, and culture a truly unique feel, making it one of the most interesting Latin American nations to visit for every type of traveler.

Which Is Best For Activities?

Of course, one of the first things to consider when deciding between two different destinations is “What can you do in each one?” Well, both Ecuador and Costa Rica boast extensive lists of cities to see and amazing natural spaces to explore, but there are some key differences between them too. Here’s a rundown of all the best things to do in both nations.

Costa Rica: The Activities

In San Jose, Costa Rica, the Metropolitan Cathedral stands gracefully beside Central Park, an architectural gem harmonizing with the urban landscape, inviting contemplation in the heart of the city.
In San Jose, Costa Rica, the Metropolitan Cathedral stands gracefully beside Central Park, an architectural gem harmonizing with the urban landscape, inviting contemplation in the heart of the city.

If you’re heading to Costa Rica, it’s likely that you’ll arrive in the country’s capital of San José, and it’s a really dynamic, exciting city to see. There are some excellent museums here, like the Museo Nacional, where you can learn about Costa Rican history and culture, along with historic landmarks like the National Theater, Mercado Central, and Metropolitan Cathedral.

Beyond San José, there are several other interesting cities and towns to see. Tamarindo, for example, is a great coastal resort for live music, surfing, and nightlife, while Limon is a popular cruise ship port with its own Sloth Sanctuary and some gorgeous beaches. However, most of your time in this country will probably be spent out in its green and natural spaces.

There are dozens of different national parks to visit in Costa Rica, from the otherworldly Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve to the lush landscapes of Corcovado. With such a great range of natural expanses to explore, this country is almost unbeatable for nature tours, hiking, kayaking, swimming and similar activities.

Capturing the enchanting essence of El Tigre, Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica, a wide-angle photo reveals a forest river embraced by towering trees, lush foliage, and misty waterfalls, all bathed in the golden glow of the sun's gentle rays.
Capturing the enchanting essence of El Tigre, Monteverde Cloud Forest in Costa Rica, a wide-angle photo reveals a forest river embraced by towering trees, lush foliage, and misty waterfalls, all bathed in the golden glow of the sun’s gentle rays.

There are also more thrilling attractions, like ziplines, canopy tours, and white-water rafting, as well as coastal fun, like whale-watching boat tours in places like Manuel Antonio. Plus, since Costa Rica is a reasonably compact country, getting around is quite easy, letting you hope from park to park and town to town in no time.

Ecuador: The Activities

Immerse yourself in the historical charm of Old Town Quito, Ecuador, as Plaza de San Francisco unfolds—a captivating square surrounded by colonial architecture, adorned with cultural richness and vibrant energy.
Immerse yourself in the historical charm of Old Town Quito, Ecuador, as Plaza de San Francisco unfolds—a captivating square surrounded by colonial architecture, adorned with cultural richness and vibrant energy.

If you’re heading to Ecuador, you have a range of brilliant big cities to base yourself in. Many travelers will head to the country’s capital, Quito, where you can admire centuries-old churches, ride a mountain cable car, or visit multiple museums dedicated to everything from ancient cultures to Ecuadorian art.

The even larger city of Guayaquil is also an awesome place to explore, with its colorful homes, super seafood, romantic boardwalk, and historic Las Penas neighborhood. Then, there’s Cuenca, famed for its UNESCO-listed landmarks and awe-inspiring Incan ruins, or Banos, an awesome place to base yourself for deep dives into the surrounding canyons and forests.

Like Costa Rica, Ecuador holds a special place in the heart of nature and wildlife lovers. It’s home to the world-famous Galapagos Islands, where Charles Darwin studied evolution. You can follow in his footsteps, riding public ferries between the islands or signing up for an expert-led tour to learn all about the rich wildlife that calls this place home.

Behold the dual splendor of Bartolome Island's beaches in the Galapagos, Ecuador. Nature's artistry unfolds with pristine sands, turquoise waters, and the unique allure of the Galapagos Islands.
Behold the dual splendor of Bartolome Island’s beaches in the Galapagos, Ecuador. Nature’s artistry unfolds with pristine sands, turquoise waters, and the unique allure of the Galapagos Islands.

There are also plenty of vast national parks and wildlife preserves back on the mainland, ideal for almost any kind of activity imaginable. You can try whale-watching tours, rainforest hikes, canoe rides, camping, white-water rafting, mountain climbing, and more. In short, Ecuador can certainly rival Costa Rica when it comes to outdoor recreation.

Overall, both of these countries are among the best in the world for nature exploration. If you’re into hiking, trekking, and similar activities, you’ll find lots to love about either location. However, as the bigger country, Ecuador is a little more diverse, with a much bigger selection of towns and cities to check out.

Which Is Best For Beaches?

Discover the tropical allure of Punta Uva on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, where Puerto Viejo de Talamanca's enchanting beaches blend with lush greenery, inviting relaxation amid nature's vibrant beauty.
Discover the tropical allure of Punta Uva on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica, where Puerto Viejo de Talamanca’s enchanting beaches blend with lush greenery, inviting relaxation amid nature’s vibrant beauty.

Both Costa Rica and Ecuador are famed for their beautiful beaches, with many miles of soft sands and warm waters, perfect for activities like swimming, snorkeling, and even surfing. However, there are a couple of key differences between the two countries when it comes to their coastlines.

Costa Rica has the benefit of boasting coastlines along both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. So, if you’re looking for warm waters and white sands, you can head to the Caribbean side and check out beaches like Cahuita and Punta Uva. Meanwhile, for wildlife watching, surfing, and more, stick to the Pacific side, with beaches, like Manuel Antonio and Tamarindo.

Diversity is definitely a big selling point of Costa Rica’s beaches. No matter what you’re looking for, you can find it here, like world-class snorkeling at Conchal Beach, whale-watching in Costa Ballena, or romantic, secluded spaces like Playa Hermosa and long sandy stretches for families, like Playa del Coco.

Over in Ecuador, there’s no Caribbean coastline to enjoy, but there’s still a very lengthy stretch of sand and rocks looking out over the Pacific Ocean, with many scenic spots for sunbathing, swimming, and so on. Tonsupa is one of the best, not far from the capital of Quito, boasting idyllic swimming conditions and super eateries.

Nestled along the Ecuadorian Pacific coastline, the small and charming fishing village of Mompiche beckons with its tranquility and coastal allure, offering a glimpse into the authentic beauty of Ecuador.
Nestled along the Ecuadorian Pacific coastline, the small and charming fishing village of Mompiche beckons with its tranquility and coastal allure, offering a glimpse into the authentic beauty of Ecuador.

Like Costa Rica, Ecuador also has an excellent mixture of beaches to suit all tastes and ages. Sua is wonderful for families, with its very calm waters and gorgeous green backdrop, while Mompiche is a very relaxing and tranquil place to forget your worries. Montanita, meanwhile, is a seafront party hub, while San Lorenzo is a prime water sports paradise.

Overall, both countries are excellent for beaches, though Costa Rica may just have a slight edge, due to its two different coastlines.

Which Is Best For Towns And Cities?

El Panecillo, a prominent hill in Quito, Ecuador, hosts the iconic Virgen de Quito statue. This cultural landmark offers panoramic views of the city, combining history, spirituality, and breathtaking scenery.
El Panecillo, a prominent hill in Quito, Ecuador, hosts the iconic Virgen de Quito statue. This cultural landmark offers panoramic views of the city, combining history, spirituality, and breathtaking scenery.

As well as spending time on the beach, you may also choose to visit the various towns and cities that make up these two countries. And, even though they’re both best-known for their natural landscapes, both of them have some intriguing urban centers to explore, with shops, museums, historic landmarks, and so on. But which is best?

Well, as the larger of the two countries, Ecuador has bigger and more bustling cities to explore. Its capital, Quito, is significantly larger, with a population in excess of two million and many interesting buildings to admire. The colonial architecture in this city is particularly impressive, along with the cathedral, museums, parks, and plazas.

Guayaquil in Ecuador is also very lively, with super nightlife and live entertainment scenes to keep you entertained at any time. With other gems like Tena, Banos, Cuenca, and Ibarra offering museums, beaches, stores, restaurants, festivals, and more, Ecuador is truly a wonderful destination for urban explorers.

Overall, with bigger, busier, and deeper cities, Ecuador is the better of the two countries. There are still many great towns and villages to see in Costa Rica, too, but they tend to be much smaller and sleepier.

Which Is Best For Nature And Outdoors?

Arenal Volcano, on the shores of Lake Arenal in Costa Rica, gracefully exhales a picturesque cloud, blending with the lush rainforest backdrop, creating a serene and awe-inspiring natural spectacle.
Arenal Volcano, on the shores of Lake Arenal in Costa Rica, gracefully exhales a picturesque cloud, blending with the lush rainforest backdrop, creating a serene and awe-inspiring natural spectacle.

Exploring nature and having fun outdoors are two of the main reasons why people visit both Costa Rica and Ecuador, and both of these countries rank among the best in the world when it comes to ecotourism and adventure travel. But which one is best?

Well, Costa Rica has the benefit of being more compact, making it easier to get around and see as many natural spaces as you like. It’s got two distinct coastlines, along with an astonishing array of natural wonders, like the Volcan Arenal National Park, with its lava flow hiking trails, or Tortuguero, home to turtles, sloths, monkeys, and more.

Ecuador also has many natinal parks and nature reserves, including arguably the most famous in the world: the Galapagos. But, even if you don’t want to make the trip out to the islands, you can enjoy great outdoor activities on the mainland in places like Yasuni, with its extraordinary biodiversity, or Cuyabeno, where you can ride a canoe through flooded Amazonian rainforest.

Against the vibrant hues of a sunset, two traditional wooden canoes grace the Amazon River Basin within Yasuni National Park, Ecuador. The lush tropical rainforest serves as a breathtaking backdrop, encapsulating the spirit of South American wilderness.
Against the vibrant hues of a sunset, two traditional wooden canoes grace the Amazon River Basin within Yasuni National Park, Ecuador. The lush tropical rainforest serves as a breathtaking backdrop, encapsulating the spirit of South American wilderness.

Overall, it’s almost impossible to pick a winner in this category, as both countries are simply so wonderful when it comes to nature. Costa Rica is slightly ahead in terms of conservation. It’s also a little easier to book the likes of zipline tours and river rafting experiences in Costa Rica, but Ecuador has bigger parks and a wider range of them.

Which Is Best For Nightlife?

Montanita, Ecuador: A vibrant surf town on the coast, Montanita exudes perpetual energy, with non-stop festivities from Sunday to Sunday, making it a lively and exciting destination for enthusiasts and revelers alike.
Montanita, Ecuador: A vibrant surf town on the coast, Montanita exudes perpetual energy, with non-stop festivities from Sunday to Sunday, making it a lively and exciting destination for enthusiasts and revelers alike.

There’s plenty to fill up your days in both Costa Rica and Ecuador, but how about the nights? Well, almost all of Ecuador’s big cities have a so-called “Zona Rosa,” or nightlife district, where you’ll find no shortage of bars, clubs, and places to party. Plus, with a much bigger population, the vibe in Ecuador is definitely livelier than in Costa Rica.

Still, Costa Rica isn’t a bad destination for those who like to party. San José has a very lively scene, with dozens of trendy bars, lounges, and nightclubs to check out, while coastal areas like Tamarindo are also famed for their beach parties and seafront bars, many of which stay open until the early hours.

Overall, for the liveliest experiences after the sun has set, head to Ecuador.

Which Is Best For Shopping?

In Otavalo, Ecuador, indigenous women, adorned in traditional clothing, skillfully display and sell their handwoven products on the bustling market. This vibrant scene captures the rich cultural heritage of Ecuadorian Indian ethnicity.
In Otavalo, Ecuador, indigenous women, adorned in traditional clothing, skillfully display and sell their handwoven products on the bustling market. This vibrant scene captures the rich cultural heritage of Ecuadorian Indian ethnicity.

For shopping, too, Ecuador leads the way. It’s got much bigger cities than Costa Rica, with a wider range of stores, malls, and lively markets to check out. Market shopping is a big part of the experience here, and many travelers, especially from wealthy countries like the U.S., are amazed by the super low prices in this country.

Meanwhile, if you decide to visit Costa Rica, San José will be your primary shopping destination. That’s where you’ll find the longest shopping streets and biggest malls. There’s also the legendary Mercado Central here, perfect for buying tasty fresh ingredients, colorful clothing, and even some handmade crafts.

All in all, Ecuador is the better shopping destination, with more places to shop and notably cheaper prices.

Which Is Best For Food?

A close-up view of Gallo Pinto, a traditional Costa Rican dish featuring rice and red beans, presented in a bowl on a table. The horizontal composition highlights the textures and vibrant colors of this delicious culinary delight.
A close-up view of Gallo Pinto, a traditional Costa Rican dish featuring rice and red beans, presented in a bowl on a table. The horizontal composition highlights the textures and vibrant colors of this delicious culinary delight.

Latin America is home to some wonderful food, with both Costa Rica and Ecuador boasting their own delicious range of delights. But which one will appeal most to foodies?

Well, the food in Costa Rica is simple, but tasty. Many dishes are based around local ingredients, like beans and rice, along with various veggies. Gallo pinto is a great example, made up of rice, beans, egg, plaintains, cheese, while seafood soups are also popular choices in this country, and there’s some fine fish eateries to visit along the coast.

Over in Ecuador, it’s quite a similar story, with simple, traditional, and delicious cooking, often featuring ingredients like plantains, potatoes, cheese, and beans. Many dishes here are rich and filling, and you can sample various regional specialties as you make your way around to the nation’s various cities and areas.

Indulge in Ecuadorian cuisine with a close-up of Pescado Encocado, fish adorned with a rich coconut sauce, elegantly presented on a plate. This horizontal composition captures the delectable textures and flavors of this traditional dish.
Indulge in Ecuadorian cuisine with a close-up of Pescado Encocado, fish adorned with a rich coconut sauce, elegantly presented on a plate. This horizontal composition captures the delectable textures and flavors of this traditional dish.

Overall, there’s no clear winner, as both countries have lots of good stuff to eat. The only notable difference is in the pricing, with Ecuador’s restaurants usually being quite a bit cheaper than their Costa Rican counterparts.

Which Is Best For Families?

In Quito, Ecuador, families and children joyfully fly kites high above El Panecillo on a sunny day, creating a colorful spectacle against the city's scenic backdrop.
In Quito, Ecuador, families and children joyfully fly kites high above El Panecillo on a sunny day, creating a colorful spectacle against the city’s scenic backdrop.

Planning a fun-filled family vacation? If so, Ecuador is a terrific country to choose, especially if you plan a visit to the Galapagos Islands. Kids of all ages are sure to be wowed by the many incredible creatures that call this area home, and they’ll also have fun admiring Ecuador’s old colonial cities and visiting its various museums and cultural attractions.

In Costa Rica, you won’t find quite as much to do in the big cities, but there’s certainly lots to love if your family enjoys the outdoors. You can arrange canopy tours, rainforest expeditions, wildlife-watching campouts, and so much more. Plus, given that this country is smaller, you don’t have to worry so much about lengthy travel times from place to place.

Overall, both countries can work equally well for families. Ecuador arguably has more to offer, and the Galapagos simply can’t be beat. But Costa Rica may be more appealing to active, outdoorsy families.

Which Is Best For Couples?

At the Quilotoa Lake viewpoint in Latacunga, Ecuador, a young couple admires the breathtaking scenery, encapsulating the serene beauty of the Quilotoa region.
At the Quilotoa Lake viewpoint in Latacunga, Ecuador, a young couple admires the breathtaking scenery, encapsulating the serene beauty of the Quilotoa region.

Couples can also have the time of their lives visiting Costa Rica or Ecuador. Those that love nature and wildlife will quickly fall in love with Costa Rica’s vast national parks and nature reserves, and there are plenty of incredible places to stay, with fancy amenities and cozy hotel rooms to help you feel right at home.

Ecuador also has great accommodation and world-class natural spaces, along with cheaper prices across the board, perfect for planning a honeymoon or romantic escape on a budget. Couples who enjoy big city life will also prefer Ecuador, with cities like Quito and Guayaquil serving up the very best in shopping, dining, and urban excitement.

Overall, it’s another close call in this category, and the best country for you and your partner will depend on your tastes. Ecuador is best for diversity, mixing up outdoor recreation with urban fun, while Costa Rica is more suitable for those who purely want to have fun in nature.

Which Is Best For Backpackers?

Explore the enchanting streets of Quito's Old Town in Ecuador, where colonial architecture and vibrant culture merge seamlessly, creating a picturesque scene that reflects the city's rich history and charm.
Explore the enchanting streets of Quito’s Old Town in Ecuador, where colonial architecture and vibrant culture merge seamlessly, creating a picturesque scene that reflects the city’s rich history and charm.

Backpackers might also like to travel around Costa Rica or Ecuador. And Ecuador is particularly appealing for the backpacking crowd, thanks to its low prices and off-the-beaten-path feel. It’s not as touristic as Costa Rica, and there are more dynamic and engaging cities and towns to see, perfect for mingling with locals and soaking up the native culture.

Costa Rica isn’t quite as well-suited to backpackers, as it tends to be more expensive. However, it still has many advantages, like its beautiful natural spaces and calm, peaceful vibes. Life here feels very relaxing and in-tune with nature, which should appeal to those who are looking to get away from it all for a week or longer.

Overall, Ecuador’s best for backpacking, but you should’t rule out Costa Rica right away.

Which Is Cheapest?

In Cuenca, Ecuador, San Francisco Plaza stands as a testament to history. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this charming square showcases the city's essence, with the Cathedral providing a majestic backdrop.
In Cuenca, Ecuador, San Francisco Plaza stands as a testament to history. A UNESCO World Heritage site, this charming square showcases the city’s essence, with the Cathedral providing a majestic backdrop.

Many Latin American countries are known for being quite affordable, and Costa Rica and Ecuador follow this trend. They’re both relatively cheap when compared to other destinations around the globe, making them very accessible to travelers from all walks of life. However, there is a notable difference between the two.

When it comes to average costs, Ecuador is a lot cheaper than Costa Rica. Pretty much everything costs less in Ecuador, from food to accommodation to touristic activities. The only exception is the Galapagos Islands, which can be quite pricey to visit and may simply be too expensive for some budget-conscious travelers.

Where To Stay According To Your Budget

Costa Rica

Budget: Studio Hotel Boutique captivates with its modern elegance and artistic charm. Nestled amid lush greenery, the hotel boasts contemporary architecture, tastefully adorned interiors, and a tranquil ambiance. The sophisticated design harmonizes seamlessly with the surrounding beauty, creating a haven of aesthetic delight and refined luxury.

Luxury: Makanda by the Sea Hotel is a Costa Rican gem, perched on the Pacific coastline. Set amidst lush rainforest, this boutique retreat offers breathtaking ocean views. With luxurious villas seamlessly blending with nature, the hotel creates an intimate escape, where modern elegance meets the tropical beauty of Manuel Antonio.

Ecuador

Budget: Radisson Hotel Guayaquil radiates modern sophistication in the heart of the city. The architectural marvel seamlessly integrates with the skyline, offering panoramic views of the Guayas River. With contemporary design and luxurious amenities, the hotel is a radiant haven, where elegance meets comfort in the vibrant ambiance of Guayaquil.

Luxury: Hotel Casa Gangotena, a Quito gem, enchants with its colonial elegance. Nestled in the historic heart of Ecuador’s capital, this boutique hotel exudes timeless charm. Majestic architecture, adorned with balconies and wrought-iron details, reflects the city’s rich heritage. Within, opulent interiors and meticulous design create an oasis of refined beauty.

Costa Rica vs Ecuador: Which Is Better?

Santa Ana Hill Church graces the cityscape of Guayaquil, Ecuador, adorned with colorful colonial houses in the picturesque Las Peñas district. This charming blend of history and vibrancy defines the city's unique character.
Santa Ana Hill Church graces the cityscape of Guayaquil, Ecuador, adorned with colorful colonial houses in the picturesque Las Peñas district. This charming blend of history and vibrancy defines the city’s unique character.

Overall, there’s lots to love about Costa Rica and Ecuador. If you’re eager to explore some of Latin America’s most spectacular natural spaces and enjoy delicious food, charming cities, and intriguing cultures while you’re at it, either one of these nations can work for you. But, if you’ve only got the time or money to see one of them, which should it be?

Well, as this guide has shown, it’s quite tough to pick one country over the other. However, Ecuador just about edges it. It’s a bigger place, with better shopping and nightlife, as well as a wider range of things to do, both in the cities and out in the wilderness. Plus, the Galapagos Islands are truly unique, unlike anywhere else on earth.

Still, Costa Rica is a fantastic destination to visit. Its smaller size makes it a little more accessible, and it’s more touristic, which can help when you’re trying to get around, book hotels, or reserve your spot on tours and expeditions. It’s also an almost unparalleled destination for nature lovers, with some of Central America’s prettiest beaches and lush green spaces.

Author

  • Wandering our World

    Hi and welcome to Wandering our World! This article was written by one of the Wandering our World team - a team of travel enthusiasts who live around the globe.